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Digital Archive International History Declassified

July 26, 1957

JOURNAL OF SOVIET AMBASSADOR TO THE DPRK A.M. PUZANOV FOR 26-28 JULY 1957

This document was made possible with support from the ROK Ministry of Unification, Leon Levy Foundation

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    Kim Il Sung and Nam Il inform Puzanov of the Korean delegation's progress in evaluating the draft of the DPRK's first five-year plan in the USSR. Then they discuss North Korean corn yields, USSR timber harvests for North Korea, and South Korea. Later, Nam Il informs Puzanov of internal matters of the KWP CC.
    "Journal of Soviet Ambassador to the DPRK A.M. Puzanov for 26-28 July 1957," July 26, 1957, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, AVPRF F. 0102, Op. 13, P. 72, Delo 5, Listy 146-164. Translated by Gary Goldberg. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/115638
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SOVIET EMBASSY IN THE DPRK TOP SECRET

Nº 175 Copy Nº 1

1 August 1957

[faded image of a stamp:

[[TOP SECRET]]

Incoming 9211-gs;

10 August 1957]

The Journal of Soviet Ambassador to the DPRK A. M. PUZANOV

for the period 11 through 31 July 1957

Pyongyang

TOP SECRET

Copy Nº 1

[…]

26-28 July 1957

I visited Kim Il Sung at his invitation. Kim Il Sung and Nam Il are vacationing at dachas located at the Suphun Hydroelectric Power Station's reservoir. Pak Jeong-ae [Pak Jong Ae] was also there during these days.

The following issues were touched upon in the conversation which took place with Kim Il Sung:

The draft of the first five-year plan. Kim Il Sung provided information about a telephone discussion between him and Kim Il about the progress of the consideration and consultation about the draft five-year plan in the USSR. Kim Il said that according to the conclusion of the Soviet comrades the draft five-year was drawn up correctly, and there are comments a number of issues. Kim Il Sung said, I told Kim Il that you went to the Soviet Union with the draft of the plan to get comments and suggestions inasmuch as the Soviet comrades have rich experience in drawing up five-year plans.

Nam Il, who was present at the conversation, familiarized me with a telegram received from Kim Il where it says that he had asked the Soviet Government to examine the issue of extending the payment deadlines for credits on military debts to 1959-1960 and to keep the prices for monazite at the 1957 level. Nam Il said at this point that Kim Il Sung gave instructions to Kim Il not to make such proposals. However, as is obvious, he had acted in spite of the instructions he had received.

Kim Il Sung confirmed what Kim Il Said and added that audibility was poor during the telephone discussion and he told Kim Il to raise such issues as he considered advisable. Evidently, guided by this, Kim Il had also made this proposal. However, said Kim Il Sung, the debts really need to be paid , but to set the prices for monazite as the Soviet government wants based on current world prices for this raw material.

Kim Il Sung then provided information that the draft of the first five-year plan will be published in the press for nationwide discussion and also examined at a conference of representatives of all levels of workers, at a KWP plenum, at the KWP Party conference (probably in January 1958), (and at a Supreme People's Assembly session, probably in February 1958).

For my part I directed attention to the very great importance of the draft five-year plan for winning the sympathies of the workers of South Korea and for the peaceful unification of the country, in connection with which much agitprop work has to be done by skillfully organizing the explanation of the five-year plan both inside the country as well to South Korea.

Kim Il Sung agreed completely.

With the correct use of corn crops. Kim Il Sung was interested in my impressions of the prospects for the rice and corn harvests.

I managed to see many crops and as a result formed the impression that the rice seems good and the corn crop situation is especially pleasing. In spite of the drought when there was no rain for 60-70 days (Pak Jeong-ae, who was present, corrected [me], saying there was no rain for more than 90 days), the corn survived and evidently produced a harvest greater than last year (the 1956 harvest got an average of 12.8 centners per jeongbo). In two years the KWP CC and DPRK government have done much work to expand the planting of corn at the expense of low-yielding cereal crops (barley and others). An indicator that corn is being taken by peasants as highest-yielding and profitable is the fact that individual sectors near farmhouses have as a rule been planted with corn.

Kim Il Sung noted that in the current year corn actually saved the situation and, in spite of the drought, the gross grain crop is expected to be no less than 3-3.1 million tons (in 1956 it was 2.87 million tons). Here Kim Il Sung said that a big role in the sharp increase of the corn crops (corn crops doubled in the past two years and as of this July 1st corn was planted on 194,000 hectares more than on this date in 1956) was played by the Soviet experience of a massive introduction of corn crops and Krzhizhanovsky's letter to V. I. Lenin, a copy of which was passed to him by Ambassador Ivanov in 1955.

I again directed Kim Il Sung's attention to the need to use considerable areas of corn for silage in milk-wax ripeness even in the current year since when this is done two or three thousand feed units more will be collected per jeongbo, which will provide an opportunity to get a considerable amount of pork and milk.

Kim Il Sung agreed with the views [I] expressed and said that next winter they are organizing special training of managerial personnel to get higher corn harvests and a harvest of considerable areas in milk-wax ripeness.

I also shared the Soviet experience in cultivating hybrid corn seeds and about the value of such seeds for getting high harvest yields.

Kim Il Sung noted that they will need to get higher-yielding varieties of corn from the USSR and Bulgaria and organize the development of hybrid seeds of corn on the fields of each province's state farms.

Concerning timber harvests in the USSR for the DPRK. Kim Il Sung was very grateful for the Soviet government's decision to permit the harvesting of timber in the USSR for the DPRK using Korean workers and the Soviet side's furnishing machinery, specialists, and living space, noting that the harvesting conditions are not only acceptable but advantageous to the DPRK.

The most stressful thing for us in the draft five-year plan, said Kim Il Sung, is the shortage of timber, and therefore without the aid of the Soviet Union we would not have overcome these difficulties.

Concerning the situation in South Korea. We exchanged opinions about the economic and political situation in South Korea, about the Americans' desire for an actual occupation of South Korea for an indefinite time, and about the lopsided colonial development of the South Korean economy.

Kim Il Sung reported that on 31 July of this year he will interrupt his vacation for several days and go to Pyongyang to meet with voters on 2 August and then consider a number of pressing matters about the CC and DPRK government.

x x x

In conversations which were held Nam Il reported that Kim Il Sung had to interrupt the vacation not just to meet with voters but also to consider a number of pressing matters associated with the statements of several people who had been arrested who were closely connected with the leadership of the anti-Party group. However, Nam Il did not report any information about the nature of the statements.

Speaking of the composition of the future Cabinet of Ministers, Nam Il said that this issue has not yet been officially discussed in the Presidium. They are unofficially thinking about the most suitable and advisable alternatives in order to preclude the promotion of Choe Yong-geon [Choe Yong Gon] to the post of premier, as was intended last year. At this point Nam Il asked me if I am thinking of talking with Kim Il Sung on this subject.

I said that I do not consider it necessary at the present time to raise these issues with Kim Il Sung at my own initiative.

Nam Il noted that evidently Kim Il Sung will inform you about this issue.

[…]

SOVIET AMBASSADOR IN THE DPRK

[signature] (A. PUZANOV)

Five copies printed

1 - Cde. Gromyko

2. - Cde. Fedorenko

3. - Cde. Kurdyukov

4. - Cde. Solodovnik

5. - file

Nº 482

1 August 1957